Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some surprises

To the surprise of all concerned, I found myself briefly in a House of God this afternoon. This was AFTER doing a bit of decorating, so the day wasn't going to plan, but a bit of seawatching but it right, 17:50 - 19:00, calm, with visibility coming and going, and some rafts of Razorbills, Guillemots (Common Murres) and Atlantic Puffins incl. juvvies on the water, and an atypical 50+ Arctic Terns feeding among them, with smaller numbers of Common Terns. A Common Redshank flew south, and passed by... by Jingo(!!)... a Great-crested Grebe on the sea - only my second Newtonhill record (Manchester/Merseyside-based birders might be shocked, but they're actually not common in NE Scotland). Get in! Maybe nine Great Skuas tonight, but more likely 2-3, i.e. 2 north, 1 north, 2 south, 1N, 1S, 1N 1N. But better, 2 Pomarine Skuas flew through together, heading north close in (nearly went under the radar). 8 Manx Shearwaters north, 4 Common Scoters, and a Peregine Falcon flying round giving the juvvie Black-legged Kittiwakes a bit of exercise. A measley 88 Northern Gannets and assorted Northern Fulmars feeding among the vast flocks of terns. A Mylar helium balloon ditched on the sea was entertaining an Atlantic Grey Seal.

In other news, congratulations and commiserations respectively to the McKinney and the ex- Miss Cole. I think I got married once - that would explain all those other people living in my house.

6 comments:

Harry said...

Hi Martin,
Great Crested Grebes aren't common in Cork either, at least not in the breeding season (something to do with the shortage of lakes in the county), but they are locally common in winter alright. Still, well done on an excellent local record...yeah, I know you'd have preferred a Yellow-nosed Albatross, but anything is better than nothing, eh?
H

Stephen Menzie said...

I am indeed shocked and, quite frankly, saddened. There's 20 GCGs on my garden pond right now...

Martin said...

Hi Harry

but anything is better than nothing, eh?

it has to be round here! Any joy with your problem Pterodroma yet?

Martin said...

There's 20 GCGs on my garden pond right now...

Spare me your crocodile tears, young Stephen... you stole my GCGs and put them in your garden didn't you? Remember, BOURC knows everything.

Harry said...

Not much joy with anything bird-related just lately, least of all Pterodroma feae bastardii, which is the subspecies to which most (all?) of the Irish records to date can be referred, except that we can't be sure that some of 'em weren't Zino's Petrel (Pterodroma quitedifferentinthehandbutimpossibleinthefieldae).
Did have a 3rd cal Yellow-legged Gull, Balearic Shearwater and three cetacean species yesterday, mind, in an odd day of birding at good sites, but the Ottowan's Gull (Larus disco) on the 'bigger island' rather overshadows my efforts...

Tom McKinney said...

Cheers Doc! Don't think there'll be all that many people in our house for some time, although I do distinctly remember once saying that I'd never be so Thatcherite conformist as to get married, never ever ever ever ever.